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  • Debate 2012: Do We Need More Teachers?

    “Governor [Mitt] Romney doesn’t think we need more teachers,” President Obama said last night. “I do.”

    The President’s confidence that “we need more teachers” to improve education is misplaced, and his proposal to subsidize teacher hiring using federal dollars would do more harm than good.

    Adding teachers is intended to reduce class size. It’s worth pointing out that the national student–teacher ratio is already historically low, according to projections by the National Center for Education Statistics. Nevertheless, class size reduction does not produce reliably higher student achievement.

    Smaller classes may help particular students with particular socioeconomic backgrounds at particular times in their lives with particular kinds of teachers teaching a particular kind of curriculum. In general, however, the benefits of class size reduction to the average student are small to nonexistent, and no reasonable cost-benefit analysis endorses class-size reduction as a general policy.

    But subsidizing teacher hiring would be more than just an inefficient use of federal tax dollars. It would essentially be a bailout of states and localities for their fiscal irresponsibility. The average public school teacher already receives a total compensation package (wages plus benefits) that is above fair market levels, and this overly generous compensation is part of the reason that teacher layoffs and cutbacks were necessary in the first place.

    So while “more teachers” may sound like a wonderful reform in the abstract, the proposal carries little to no public benefit, while helping to perpetuate irresponsible budgeting at the state and local levels.

    Posted in Education, Featured [slideshow_deploy]

    8 Responses to Debate 2012: Do We Need More Teachers?

    1. Firststrike says:

      There are 3 things I hear when the POTUS talks about more teachers. One is window dressing for prospective (undecided) voters watching the debate. Two, the impression that it will be 100% funded by a bankrupt federal government and the biggest one is to promote the hiring of more union members paying more dues to be contributed to the campaign coffers of democratic candidates.

    2. Bobbie says:

      That's a definite out, isn't it Firststrike!!

      Mitt Romney wants qualified people who have the sincerity to teach and respect the title. Obama has anyone teaching. Drug addicts with rights!! Drunks with rights!! Molesters with rights!! Why society is so dummied down!! We need better teachers!! Not ones indoctrinated by federal rule and protections and low expectations!

    3. Doc Hilliard says:

      Obama wants more UNIONIZED teachers paying UNION DUES to the Democrat Party and Obama.
      Obama doesn't care for a single schoolkid or her classroom; it's the money, honey.

    4. Linda says:

      The federal government has no business telling local school districts how many and what kinds of teachers they need. Every time the feds get involved in education, there are so many rules and regulations tied to the money, the locals hate it. I know. I was Asst. Treasurer at a public school and funds from the feds just added more strings and more reporting for me. The Education Dept should be eliminated completely and let that money roll back to the locals.

    5. Finally, someone is saying it. We have plenty of teachers, fireman, and police. I'm tired of those professions being sacred cows.

    6. G, W, Woody says:

      This is a favorite tactic of the Democrats – give the initial funds to hire these new teachers – with maybe enough money for a year or two – then pull the plug – leaving local governments to pick up the tab for eternity. It is the way they get away with saying Republicans are against teachers, more policemen, more firemen…blah blah blah. It would be nice to see the general public wake up to this bait and switch scam.

    7. Alfrom Fl says:

      Firststrike has it right. Teachers are hired by the state and local communities not by the Federal gov't. For the Feds to provide more teachers(or funding for) only skews the state budget and leaves the state on the hook for more money to continue to fund these additional teachers or have to lay them off the next year (after the election).

    8. Gloria Wedemeyer says:

      We don't need more teachers, we need more good teachers and get all the garbage out of schools on things that have nothing to do with educating.

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